Athletes could be banned from taking a chemical found in spinach because it has a ‘steroid effect’.
Researchers at the Freie Universität
Cartoon character Popeye the Sailor famously loved the leafy green and attributed his super strength to eating it regularly.
Now it seems his claims have some basis in fact after a 10-week
Cartoon character Popeye the Sailor famously loved the leafy green and attributed his super strength to eating it regularly
Scientists looked at 46 athletes who exercised three times a week while taking supplements equivalent to eating 8.8lbs of spinach a day.
The huge differences in physical strength compared to those taking a placebo shocked researchers.
Maria Parr, from the university’s Institute of Pharmacy, told ARD: ‘Our hypothesis was that we would see an increase in performance, but we didn’t expect it to be that big.’
She added that athletes should be banned from taking ecdysterone to gain an advantage over others.
Ms Parr added: ‘We recommended to WADA [World Anti-Doping Authority] in our report that the substance be added to the doping list.
‘We think that if it increases performance, then that unfair advantage should be eliminated.’
The study was partially funded by WADA, but a future ban will have to be decided by a special committee.
Now it seems his claims have some basis in fact after a 10-week study showed athletes consuming ecdysterone were up to three times stronger that those who didn’t (file photo)